To the People

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Monday, April 07, 2008

The Up Side of a Recession ...

... is that snooty yuppies have lately stopped bitching about urban sprawl. As the Washington Post reports:
Once the dominant topic in regional politics, taming residential development has largely been eclipsed by the fiscal woes created by the slowdown. Rising construction costs, plummeting property assessments, soaring foreclosures and high gas prices have local officials debating how to craft budgets with limited resources instead of arguing over new subdivisions.

It's a fiscal scenario affecting fast-growing areas across the country. In Collier County, Fla. (Naples), Sacramento County, Calif. (Sacramento), and Maricopa County, Ariz. (Phoenix), for example, strained income sources -- including impact fees for new construction and sales and property taxes -- means officials are debating a mix of deferring capital improvements, freezing hiring and scaling back services.

"Counties are getting hit right, left and sideways," said Jacqueline Byers, director of research for the National Association of Counties.
And of course this has sprawl fighters delighted:
Slow-growth advocates say the downturn will allow localities to "take a breather" and focus on improving existing communities rather than trying to keep up with the impact of booming growth.
It would have been nice if the Post writer had put two and two together and realized that this recession is what the anti-sprawl movement is basically about: ending economic growth because that's somehow better for us.

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